Biblical Literacy for Catechists: The Prophets

This is the final article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. What is a prophet? The word prophet means “to speak for.” A prophet, then, is someone who speaks for God. When God wanted to speak to his people, he often chose someone to remind them of the covenant and its promises. Catechists can help students get to know these important spokespersons for God so they can become […]

Hosting a Bible Boot Camp

With the end of the catechetical year quickly approaching, you may be looking for ways to engage older children, youth, and adults in faith formation over the summer. One great idea is to host a “Bible Boot Camp” using my book The Bible Blueprint and the free online Leader Guide to increase Bible literacy, leading to a deeper appreciation of Scripture. Most programs that are labeled as “Bible Boot Camp” are Vacation Bible School programs […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: David—Hero, King, and Sinner

This is the fourth article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. David, King of Israel, is possibly one of the most interesting characters in all of Scripture. He was a shepherd, the Lord’s anointed, giant-killer, loyal friend, singer of psalms, ambitious king, repentant sinner, and founder of the House of David, from which Jesus was descended. Because David is such an important person from the Old Testament, it’s […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: Moses, Deliverer of His People

This is the third article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. Moses’s name might conjure up images of Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments or the 1998 animated film The Prince of Egypt. Moses’s life was so dramatic that it still inspires us today. His story is also part of our Salvation History. Through Moses, God saved his people. This tale is so important that it is retold […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: Abraham, Our Father in Faith

This is the second article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. Every catechist is probably familiar with some of the stories about the patriarch Abraham. Abraham—originally known as Abram—was a wealthy man in the ancient city of Ur. God called Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: Adam and Eve

This is the first article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. Every catechist should be able to tell the timeline of Salvation history, because it is so important to understanding Jesus, the Bible, and Catholic doctrine. Salvation history is the story of our faith. Familiarity with important characters from this story helps us form a foundation of our belief in Christ. Jesus associated himself with major figures from […]

Faithfully Adapting Scripture Stories for Children

It is not unusual for catechists and publishers of textbooks to adapt Scripture stories for children. Let’s face it: the Bible was not written for seven-year-olds! When adapting Scripture stories for children, however, it is imperative that we remain faithful to Sacred Scripture and not change the essence of the stories we are relating. For example, until I was an adult, I thought that, in the story of Cain and Abel, Cain’s offering was not […]

The End Times: Urgency, Not Fear (And a Thought About the Election)

My best friend Joe is a real handyman, and he has a keen eye for spotting problems that might need some repair. He often says something like, “It may look OK now, but if you don’t deal with this soon, and if you don’t do it right, you could have some real problems on your hand.” His advice creates a sense of urgency, but not alarm. Joe is a realist, not an alarmist. In the […]

Game of the Good Shepherd

I attended the celebrations of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion at several different churches last year. While I was able to experience the joy of the sacraments in many different ways, I often heard the same Gospel reading: the parable of the Good Shepherd. This parable is a natural choice for these sacraments. It is a beautiful passage that depicts the intimate love and relationship between God and God’s people, and helps us to […]

National Bible Week

Catholics have come a long way in our understanding and appreciation of the Bible. For too long, Catholics were not encouraged to read and pray Scripture. Since the Second Vatican Council, (and especially the publication of Dei Verbum, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation), our Church has encouraged us to delve more deeply into God’s Word. With that in mind, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is once again inviting Catholics to participate in National […]

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